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Gone but not forgotten:
David Holdsworth
Position: Central defender
From: Youth team
Record: Played: 291(12) Scored: 14
To: Sheffield United - £300,000 - October 1996
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: Unlikely to stay

The only question is why it's taken so long for someone to buy him. At £300,000 in today's market, Holdsworth is a bargain of the highest order.

Even so, only an idiot would try and gloss over some of the less brilliant parts of his career. For instance, his total loss of form during the 93/94 season was at least partly responsible for our record of conceding two goals a game (and some of the goals were truly laughable - if you've got the video, check out Charlton at home) and he ended that campaign on the sidelines, his confidence seemingly in tatters.

In many ways, it seems that what he needs is to be surrounded by defenders of equal competence - the arrival of a commanding goalkeeper in the shape of Kevin Miller and a huge, inspiring defensive partner in Colin Foster caused a spectacular return to form in the following campaign and Holdsworth was instrumental in a defence that recorded a record number of consecutive clean sheets.

If that makes Holdsworth sound inconsistent, then I've got it wrong - he is simply either good or bad, usually for months on end. When he's bad, he's as error-prone as Keith Dublin but when he's good, he looks like a Premiership-quality player - he's fast, he's strong, he's great in the air, he's aware of what's going on.

So, basically, Sheffield United can't lose. If they get the bad David Holdsworth, the one responsible for one of the funniest penalty-conceding handballs I've seen (against Grimsby - 'I was pushed,' he claimed afterwards), then they've only spent stlg 300,000 which is hardly a fortune these days. If they get the good David Holdsworth, then they'll have paid peanuts for one of the finest central defenders outside the top flight.